Andrea's column: The eyes have itLabor Day was supposed to be the day I worked on this column, but after sitting in front of the computer for a short time, my eyes started to go whacky. They were out of focus and there were squiggly bright lines at the outside corner of my left orb.
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
Labor Day was supposed to be the day I worked on this column, but after sitting in front of the computer for a short time, my eyes started to go whacky. They were out of focus and there were squiggly bright lines at the outside corner of my left orb. I didn’t dare to tell my husband because for the past two years he has reminded me that I am long past due for an eye exam.
As I closed the lid of the laptop and turned off the lights in the room, I removed my glasses — the ones with the bent frames and cracked lens — and looked skyward. Pleading, “Please don’t let this be glaucoma, cataracts or the beginning stages of blindness,” I finished with a promise to make an appointment the next day with an optometrist.
My first visit to an eye doctor was in the fourth or fifth grade. My year-younger sister had just gotten glasses and my parents worried I needed them, too. My explanation that my sibling wanted to fail the test because some of her friends wore rhinestone-studded glasses and she thought they looked cute did not dissuade Mom and Dad. It didn’t matter. “Twenty-twenty,” the doctor said of my eyesight.
My next exam, when I was 43, had a different result. It was right after my 25-year high school reunion, a weekend event held at a Burnsville hotel. I graduated from an all girls’ boarding school so the reunion was limited to just the graduates. No husbands, partners, or boyfriends.
When I got home that Sunday afternoon, my hubby was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and the newspaper. I joined him. As I read, the print got smaller and smaller and I kept bringing the paper closer and closer to my face. Finally, my husband reached over and handed me his glasses. “Try these,” he said. “Spending an entire weekend with a bunch of old women must have affected your vision.”
Taking a cue from Sally Jesse Raphael, a popular talk show host of the time, I chose round red frames for my first pair of glasses. There have been many more since then, each one a different color, shape and lens thickness. The one thing they’ve had in common, though, is that they cost too much money.
Even so, on the Tuesday after Labor Day, I made an appointment to have my eyes examined. As I waited for the receptionist to answer the phone, I was reminded of a recent conversation with a friend. She had just ordered new glasses. When I asked what kind of frames she selected, she said they were black, a smaller version of those worn by the late rocker Buddy Holly.
“If I ever make it to the eye doctor, that’s the kind I’m going to get,” I said. “They call them slutty librarian glasses.” We had a good laugh and agreed we had never met a librarian of that sort but that, at our ages, it would be fun to look like one. And, whatever the price, worth every cent.